Axiom Space is clear: space tourism is the future. At the moment it is, above all, a possibility only for billionaires. We don’t know what will happen in a few years; but clients are certainly not lacking. So it has started to build its own space station. In addition, it will send the first private space mission to the International Space Station, ahead of the SpaceX company, created by Elon Musk. But let’s take a better look at all these plans.
Traveling to space is still a wish. But we are in a time that, thanks to technological and scientific development, this is going to be more and more possible. In fact, this same week the second edition of the Space and Underwater Tourism Universal Summit (SUTUS) Congress was held in Marbella. And among the companies and public institutions that have spoken about the future of space and underwater tourism is the Axiom Space.
It doesn’t matter why someone wants to go into space; now thanks to private companies like Axiom Space, those who can pay the ticket will live the experience. While Musk’s company is filled with other types of titles, such as being the first to bring NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) or to send the first civilians on a space trip; Axiom Space thinks of space tourism.
International Space Station: the first private astronauts
Let’s start by talking about the first private astronauts that the ISS is going to have due to Axiom Space. The Ax-1 mission crew has already been chosen and will consist of the commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, former NASA astronaut and vice president of the company itself; the pilot and businessman Larry Connor; and the mission specialists: the Canadian Mark pathy and the israeli Eytan stibbeThey are both investors and philanthropists.
The Ax-1 mission with private astronauts from Axiom Space is scheduled to launch into space in January 2022.
The Axiom Space mission is scheduled to launch in January 2022 and the first four private astronauts will pass between 7 and 10 days at the ISS, the aerospace company reported in a press release earlier this year. At the moment the crew is conducting the training program together with the alternate commander, also a former NASA astronaut, Peggy whitson, and the reserve pilot, John shoffner.
The company does not have its own rockets, so the launch will be made thanks to a SpaceX Dragon Crew. So it can be said that although the credit for organizing the mission and training the astronauts does not lie with Musk; without their company it would not be possible to send them into space.
The first private space station
The ISS is still going to last a few more years before retiring. For now, the date to stop sending astronauts there is 2028; but you never know. And is that NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA, for acronym in English) and other similar institutions are building the lunar Gateway orbiter, which will be something like the new ISS; but it will revolve around our satellite.
Axiom Space will ship several modules starting in 2024 and will be operational in 2026, if all goes as planned by the company.
Axiom Space space station will be sent little by little up there until, in 2026, they will be finished coupling modules for the use of space tourists. The first will be launched into space, if everything goes according to plan by the North American company, in 2024. The second, in 2025. At the end of that same year, a laboratory will also be sent. And in 2027, a power tower to power the entire station. We will see if the forecasts are correct. But, for the moment, the construction of the first module seems to be progressing well.
“Once fully assembled, Axiom Station will nearly double the usable volume of the International Space Station“says the company on its website.
In short, space tourism has come to stay. Although it will be a luxury service, such as buying expensive cars or jewelry. Not everyone will have access to this type of trip. But many people wish they could access these trips. Or, failing that, to other experiences that allow them feel the weightlessness and see the earth’s curvature, as are the suborbital flights of Virgin Galactic or Blue Origin. But make no mistake: these aren’t cheap either. At the moment, space is just a place for people with money. A lot of money.